woman pouring salad dressing on a salad

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The salad dressing that broke the internet

It was impossible to avoid conversations about salad dressing this week.

 

Tiffany Kelly

Internet Culture

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This Week On The Internet

Analysis

This week, it was impossible to avoid conversations about salad dressing.

More specifically, a salad dressing Don’t Worry Darling director Olivia Wilde allegedly made for both Jason Sudeikis and Harry Styles. It was so memorable that Sudeikis, her former fiancé, was reportedly mad that she prepared it for her new partner, according to an article that appeared in Daily Mail this week.

The article, which the internet spent the whole week dissecting, included alleged texts between Wilde and Sudeikis and their ex-nanny—who cared for the couple’s two children. One text, allegedly from Sudeikis to the nanny, said: “Took her salad, and dressing, and left them.”

Everyone was curious—what, exactly, was in this salad dressing that apparently was a break-up talking point? Wilde, whether masterfully trolling everyone or actually revealing the recipe, shared a page from Nora Ephron’s novel Heartburn on her Instagram Stories, which includes a basic vinaigrette recipe.

Publicly, Wilde and Sudeikis denied the claims made by the former nanny in the story, saying in a joint statement that “it is incredibly upsetting to learn that a former nanny of our two young children would choose to make such false and scurrilous accusations about us.”

But Wilde’s Instagram post led people to believe she was clearly commenting on the salad dressing discourse. And it got people asking, “what’s so special about salad dressing?”

If the story has any truth to it, the issue seems to be that she used to make a dish for one partner and then started making it for her new partner.

Making and taking salad dressing to-go does not seem all that strange to me because I grew up on a salad dressing that family members made and bottled up. The recipe was passed down multiple generations. It was deceptively simple but very good. A recipe does not need to be complicated in order to be considered special!

Why it matters

As I’ve mentioned previously, the culture around celebrity gossip is changing. People actually care about gossip again. The Daily Mail wouldn’t even be running this story if the Wilde-Styles relationship and the Don’t Worry Darling behind-the-scenes drama didn’t make headlines throughout 2022.

The salad dressing discourse is also exactly the kind of lighthearted, niche drama that excels on platforms like Twitter and TikTok—which this week was flooded with memes and how-to videos for making the salad dressing.

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